Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Coq Au Vin - Rescue Mission

One of my favourite winter meals is Coq au vin.It has all the warmth and comfort of a casserole with half the cooking time and is as simple as the translation of its french name: Chicken cooked in wine.

Most recipes for coq au vin suggest using chicken drumsticks but I prefer to use thigh fillets, the only reason being that I live with a fussy eater who wont eat meat on the bone.
My only suggestion on this recipe is that you will need to check the pot every 10 or so minutes while it is cooking to ensure you don't make the mistake I did and burn your beautiful Coq au vin to charcoal.
So my beautiful Coq au vin that I have cooked a million times turned into a rescue mission. But it just goes to prove that if you make a mistake most things can be salvaged.
A new pot and some new sauce and it was as good as new (and just as yummy)!

2 tbs plain flour
8 (about 1.5kg) chicken drumsticks or thigh fillets.
2 tbs olive oil
4 bacon rashers - diced
8 eschalots (French shallots), peeled
2 garlic cloves, crushed
375ml (1 1/2 cups) red wine (such as pinot noir)
375ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock  - I used about 2 cups instead
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 dried bay leaves
400g button mushrooms
2 tbs tomato paste

1. Place flour in a plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces and shake until coated. Making sure to shake off the excess flour.
2. Heat 1 tbl spoon of oil in a stockpot over medium high heat. Cook the chicken until brown on all sides. Do this in batches to save overcrowding the pan which will cause the meat to stew. Transfer chicken to a plate.
3. Add the bacon, eschalots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Add chicken back into the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer with the lid on for 40 mins. Remember to keep an eye on your pot.
This is what happens when you DON'T keep an eye on your pot.
The pot on the right was the original one I was using.
4. Once chicken is cooked and tender, remove from the liquid and transfer to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm. Add the mushrooms and tomato paste to the pot. Increase heat to medium high and cook uncovered for 20 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to the pot and stir to combine.
5. While the sauce is thickening its a good time to prepare your vegetables. I usually serve this with mash potato and steamed green beans. For the mash, cook potato in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 mins or until potato is tender. Drain. Return to the pan and mash until smooth. Add a little butter, milk or cream if you prefer. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Place mash potato on a plate and top with your beautifully rich coq au vin. Adding beans on the side.

Enjoy! :)

1 comment:

  1. well I know what I will be cooking on the weekend...